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Our archives are sustained and cultivated through donations of various kinds.

What you could give

  • Working papers/materials
  • Photographs
  • Books and monographs
  • Periodicals
  • Equipment or apparatus
  • Press cuttings
  • Test materials

You could also help by contributing to our Oral History Project, either as an interviewer or interviewee.

How to make a donation or bequest

Working papers/materials

The History of Psychology Centre is always keen to acquire new material, but our priority is on archival material - correspondence, notebooks, diaries, unpublished manuscripts, ephemera, photographs, etc. This includes material relating to the Society's member networks, which are often retained by their committee members. We are particularly interested in developing the pre-1970 holdings. While material related to eminent figures is obviously especially welcome, teaching-related documents (e.g. exam papers and laboratory notebooks) are also important, and the older the better!


We are keen to acquire visual records of psychologists, psychology events, psychological equipment, etc. for inclusion in the Grace Rawlings Visual Archive. If you have photographs, cinematographic or video material that you think might be archived, please call us to discuss. We are particularly interested in hard-copy originals and digital images.

Books and monographs

If you wish to donate books or pamphlets send us a list of items and we will consider this in conjunction with the Society’s official library at Senate House.

The books we are especially interested in are:

  • pre-1950 hardbacks (especially pre-Second World War, and, even more, pre-First World War), particularly by British and mainland European authors
  • annotated association copies - i.e. books that belonged to eminent figures and have been annotated by them
  • books on the history of psychology.


Senate House already houses our complete collection of the Society's main journals. However, pre-1960 British journal runs may help us fill gaps in existing runs held. Pre-1960 mainland European and North American journal runs may be of interest, contact us for more information.

We are looking to complete another collection of the Bulletin of the British Psychology Society (1948-1987). We are missing issues from 1952, 1954 and 1955 – can you help us find them?

Equipment or apparatus

We are unable to take equipment or apparatus but through our links with the Science Museum we may be able to help you find a suitable home for your items.

Press cuttings

We would be interested in press cuttings if they are in the form of a systematic collection pertaining to a specific topic or individual.

Psychological tests

We are not at present looking to acquire additions to our Psychological Tests Collection.

Making a donation or bequest

If you have anything you wish to donate, please contact us first. We are always willing to assess offered material in person and advise on the best way of dealing with it should we not want it ourselves. We cannot guarantee to accept unsolicited donations.

Your rights as a donor

If you donate archival material, you will be asked to sign a formal agreement with HoPC setting out the terms on which we will be holding the material. This offers donors the opportunity of specifying such things as copyright ownership, whether the material is being donated or loaned, and the period of time for which they wish material to remain closed to public access. In return we agree to curate the material and manage its availability to researchers.

Costs and expenses

If your donation is accepted we will normally bear any costs incurred in transporting it.


Material is sometimes bequeathed to us of which we had no prior knowledge. We are happy to accept unsolicited bequests but cannot guarantee that we will want to retain the material in its entirety or at all. In such cases we will be pleased to consult with executors as the situation requires.

If you wish to bequeath material to us in your will, it would be advisable to consult us in advance in order to avoid difficulties later.